Running on NSAIDs?  - The Physio Revolution

Running on NSAIDs? 

What are NSAIDs anyway?

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs.

I and my colleagues have begun to see a common theme happening across the nation on increased use of these drugs. They are promoted as if they are another Vitamin to supplement our daily routine needs. “Got pain or aches, pop a few ibuprofen to ease the pain.” We are even beginning to see many children being told to take these prior to matches, games, practices, etc.

I want to challenge you to a different way to think about these simple, easy to get, OTC medications.


First let’s talk about some recent data and information:

1.   More than 70 million prescriptions for NSAIDs are written each year in the US.

2.  With over-the-counter meds accounted for, more than 30 BILLION doses of NSAIDs are consumed within the US.

-What about your liver and kidney’s longevity?

3. Too much NSAID consumption can lead to these side effects:

-Acute Kidney Injury (AKI)

-Acute Interstitial Nephritis (AIN)



-Flank Pain

-Acute Tubular Necrosis (ATN)

4.  Unfortunately, for long-distance runners it doesn’t get better.  For those who do take NSAIDs prior, during, or after races and training, studies now report a 5.5 NNH for this population (number needed to harm).

-What does that mean?  It means for every 5-6 runners taking NSAIDs, 1 would have an acute renal (kidney) injury.


It’s important for us as a human race to understand what truly happens when we put these NSAIDs in our mouths to coat the pain and continue to push ourselves further past our body’s natural recovery periods.

Inflammation is real. Pain is real. But, taking on a natural pathway for resolving some of our inflammation process that can arise while trying to be active/social may be a better option for most.

Diet + Lifestyle changes +  Correct movement + Stress Reduction + Recovery = Natural anti-inflammatory options.

To Your Health & Happiness,


Brooke Olsen

Brooke Olsen

Co-Founder, Director of Physical Therapy
Brooke is a physical therapist, director of physical therapy, and co-founder at The Physio Revolution. She has worked with professional athletes from Olympic level and recreational weekend warriors to others who are in need of regaining their independence and mobility back in their everyday life. Brooke works extensively with all of the PT’s and spends a vast amount of her time ensuring our treatment plans keep pace with the rapid advancements that make physical therapy so effective and such a ‘go-to’ profession for people aged 45+.
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